National Endowment for the Arts offers creative writing fellowships

Application guidelines are now available for the The National Endowment for the Arts’ FY 2014 Creative Writing Fellowships in Prose. Creative Writing Fellowships encourage the production of new work and allow writers the time and means to write. The program offers $25,000 grants to published creative writers. The deadline for application submission is Feb. 28, 2013.

The NEA's Writer's Corner

These grants are highly competitive. In FY 2013, the NEA awarded 40 grants out of 1,137 eligible applications. Applications are evaluated through a process of anonymous manuscript review under the sole criteria of artistic excellence and merit. Panelists do not know the identities of the writers, their publishing histories, academic achievements or previous awards.

The NEA Literature Fellowships program operates on a two-year cycle with fellowships in prose and poetry available in alternating years. For FY 2014, which is covered by these guidelines, fellowships in prose are available. Fellowships in poetry will be offered in FY 2015 and guidelines will be available in the fall of 2013. You may apply only once each year.

Through the Creative Writing Fellowships, the NEA has sponsored work resulting in more than 2,400 books, including many of the most acclaimed novels of contemporary American literature: Jeffrey Eugenides’s Middlesex, Oscar Hijuelos’s The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, William Kennedy’s Ironweed, and Bobbie Ann Mason’s In Country. In addition, many recipients of the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry and Fiction were previous NEA Literature Fellows with many receiving their NEA Literature Fellowships before any major national award, usually at least a decade earlier.

The NEA’s website highlights many recent recipients of NEA Creative Writing Fellowships:

  • The Art Works blog  features interviews with Creative Writing Fellows, including:
    • Suzanne Buffam and Srikanth Reddy—Recipients of 2013 Fellowships, Buffam and Reddy are the first husband and wife to simultaneously receive NEA Literature Fellowships
    • Debra Magpie Earling— A native of Spokane, Washington, Earling received a 2006 Creative Writing Fellowships from the NEA as well as a Guggenheim Fellowship.
    • Benjamin Percy and Jennifer Percy— These siblings both received Creative Writing Fellowships from the NEA in 2012.
  • The NEA’s weekly podcast  includes interviews with leading artists and arts experts, including:
    • Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz—Recipient of a 2011 Creative Writing Fellowship, Aptowicz is a legend in New York’s slam poetry scene.

For full grant application information and guidelines, visit

Wia: National Endowment for the Arts